Entirely different process

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Different companies different procedures...wow.... I really just wanted to throw this out there for anyone that is in the process of getting dentures through the "chain" dentists. About a month ago I finally resigned myself to the fact that dentures would improve my health. I had most of my teeth and was just missing a couple back molars. My problem like so many was gum disease....my gums were receding like the tide and my lower front teeth had become so lose that eating was becoming very difficult. I also wasn't thrilled about the Mercury fillings in there that could be affecting me in unknown ways. So I decided to take the plunge.

I researched online about extractions, dentures, and of course the cost. The cost would be incredible! I have dental insurance but there is a yearly cap of 1500.00 which wouldn't even cover the cost of the extractions (roughly 100.00/tooth= 2400.00 insurance would pay 80%) now dentures.....ugh! From what I read online ( about the two big chains in my area )the new denture wearer package would work....essentially get X-ray, make impressions, get extractions, and walk out with an immediate denture. Both companies offered different levels of quality on the dentures at different price points, and follow up care and then a permanent denture after healing at about the 6 month mark. Sounded great to me....walk in with a messed up mouth and walk out sore but with an ultimately more healthy mouth and body....all in one day.....my vanity demanded that I not be toothless at any point so this was my plan. Both companies had positive and negative reviews....both were equally distant for travel....price was close between the two for their best package....how to chose when both basically SEEM to offer virtually the same thing? Well, I sit here now just 30 days after having made the WRONG choice.

This is what my choice got me: I walked in for a 7:30 a.m. appt., got X-ray and consultation, was given the price (I chose ultras: cost inc extractions was 4160.00) was asked for payment, they didn't take insurance but you could file yourself , I paid out of pocket, then quickly a mold was made of my upper and lower jaw (teeth in), then I was made to bite down on a rolled wad of (?) for a bite impression. I was handed a prescription for pain and antibiotics and at about 9:30 I was told to go back to the waiting area until "MY NUMBER" went green on this screen on the wall. Apparently that meant the lab accepted the mold and all was well. I was instructed to return at 1:30 for extractions. I came back on time, was escorted to the back, numbed up with tons of novacaine and was left to "marinate" and go numb. All teeth were extracted by the dentist, my gums were sewn up, and the dentist walked out. The student?/assistant wiped all the blood off of me, returned moments later, popped the dentures in my mouth (teeth looked tiny but I was too numb to speak), I was handed a folder with instructions and a little bag with trial size denture products. I was pretty out of it and took the card with my post op appt and staggered out of the office. It was about 3:00pm. I made it to the car and began to gush blood. The ride home was a blur as my mouth was numb and I couldn't close it to contain all the blood. We grabbed at every napkin to try to keep up with it. I won't get into the pain or meds or anything but I will say that my post op was scheduled for 10 days later and by day 5 I was begging to be seen and was denied an earlier appt. My dentures did not resemble my former mouth in any way....teeth were wide set, roof of mouth has odd hump to it, teeth were crooked, too short on top and too tall on bottom. Something was wrong, I just knew it. Anyway I finally got to go for post op, by then jaw was a train wreck, face and glands were swollen and I was not feeling very well. I made my concerns known and was told to "forget my old smile" and basically to "adjust to this" and "don't tell me how to make dentures". . Some trimming was done and I was sent home. I continued to get in for adjustments but in three days my mouth would be riddled with sores and day by day my glands swelled more and more and my jaw became stiff etc....

Over this past weekend things continued to worsen. I became pretty ill. Fever, chills, very bad headache and the glands in my face and neck were enormous. I went to a doctor and was told I had compressed salivary glands due to an ill fitting denture. I was given a prescription for antibiotics and sent home. Now I knew I had a huge problem. All my money had been spent on these dentures and they were making me sick. Basically they were made too big for my mouth and were crushing all of the little ducts under my tongue and in my cheeks....I have TMJ now, and a very sore roof of the mouth were the odd hump was on the denture. I had totally lost my faith in that company/dental office. I knew I couldn't trust them with my mouth and health.

I called aspen dental. A sweet girl answered the phone and truly listened to my story. She set up an appt for this past Monday. The entire atmosphere there was incredible. The waiting room was comfortable, I didn't feel like I was one of the herd as I did at the other place. My wait was very brief and I met with the dentist and assistant and explained my situation. they truly listened and heard what I was saying. I met with the office manager and she was incredible. All of these people were warm, friendly and comforting. I decided to go with their Comfilytes new denture wearer package. They explained that it would be a multi day experience as it takes time to make a good denture. I was given an X-ray and the exam for 19.00 and worked out the financing with the office manager. That day they took their time and did the impressions and was asked to come back the next evening (yes.....evening and some Saturday hours!) I went last night and was amazed at the service. The same sweet people treated me not a new set of people every time like at the other place. I had been asked to send some pics (via email) of myself prior to the extractions so they had an idea of my old tooth set up. Wow .....the other place had me with teeth, and an X-ray and still screwed it up royally! The dentist sat with me and asked what I wanted and what I liked and again checked out my mouth. He pulled out the wax impressions from the day before and got working on them. In and out of my mouth, making marks on them etc....then he (with the wax version in my mouth) added some goo to the bite area and had me bite down. They removed the unit as one and set it in a tray. The lab tech came in next and we worked on tooth selection. He really wanted me to be happy and comfortable.Really? Wow ,I was almost ready to cry. Someone really cared....I knew these would be properly fit to my mouth. All of these people were patient, caring, and took their time with me. Then something caught my eye.....in the tray was the wax denture. It was upright so that the roof of the mouth was exposed. I noticed that there was no odd hump,my original suspicion was correct. The other place had done a bad impression, hence the lack of seal and soreness on the roof of my mouth. I know that I am in good hands with these wonderful people. They are artists skilled at what they do, EACH AND EVERYONE OF THEM. I go back Friday for the wax try in. My new immediates will be ready one day next week. Meanwhile I won't wear the others, I am taking antibiotics, and I am praying that my glands and ducts heal quickly with no complications.

So.....to all those ready to venture down this path.....do not let anyone tell you that they can properly create an immediate denture in one day. There is a process and it is required for them to fit you properly and be safe for your mouth. Bites must be set right, there are areas in your mouth that simply cannot bear chewing stresses, there is a fancy irrigation system in your mouth that can't be altered or compromised! There are angles and contours that shape your lip and face....so many complicated details that must be addressed. Immediate dentures are a good thing but they can be dangerous if made poorly. Good luck to you all and follow your gut. I thank so many of you that have given great advice along my journey, you gave me strength to stand up for myself. I have contacted the corporate office of "the other place" and filed a complaint and expect a refund of the ultra pkg. I opted not to deal with their office manager. She didn't listen when I first showed concerns and poo pooed me off reducing me to tears.Hopefully I will hear back soon so I can afford to finish paying off my new set.

I have made several posts on here and some with Picts that show the hump etc....I will post my new set as comparison for you all .....
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Kelly

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Posted 5 years ago

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Jeanne Roushey

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Kelly, good for you. Good luck on your healing. Your well written cautionary story should be widely available for all potential denture wearers.
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Elizabeth Thompson

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Hi Jean and Kelly, wondering if you could help me out I have to have My top teeth removed tomorrow it is not something I want my Dentist says that's what I need for my health besides my front tooth is loose and my another tooth could use your root canal so they are going to be removed tomorrow while I think I'm sleeping but not really you just think you are it's IV sedation is called anyway the dentist told me I have to take 6 to 8 weeks to heal before I can get the impression for the denture After reading so many of these comments I'm not understanding why so many people get dentures right after they have their teeth pulled out without allowing time for gums to heal so could one of you ladies please explain to me because I'm real confused I cannot stand the thought of not having teeth in my mouth at least a perk is my bottoms are still OK for 6 -8 weeks
(Edited)
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HeatherP

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Elizabeth. You answered your own question. People opt for an immediate denture because the thought of having no teeth at all is unbearable. So we end up getting 2 dentures made. One for right away and another one later on once we are fully healed.

It sounds like your dentist has made the best recommendation possible in your case. Loose teeth are a strong indicator of advanced gum disease and bone loss. You will probably lose that tooth anyway. I suspect that the neighbouring tooth is also affected and although a root canal may help keep it longer, it will probably have to be removed later. He's offering a cost conscious and legitimate solution that will better serve you over the long term.

Hopefully this makes sense to you. :-)
(Edited)
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Jeanne Roushey

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Elizabeth, I had my permanent denture right away. Six months later it was religned to tighten it after gums healed and shrunk. I honestly don't know why there is differences in dental procedures from dentist to dentist. There were literally years of misery and emotions during this process but now I have accepted and adapted what was inevitable. I feel bad for you young gals, but I was vain even at my age. Getting rid of infection, pain and an awkward smile made it all worthwhile. Good luck and keep in touch......you will have questions.
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Rosie

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It is sad that so many people are frustrated with new dentures or adjustments later. Trust me, you're not alone. More than 35 million Americans have dentures, and nearly all of them have had challenges at one time or another. New denture wearers often experience minor problems as they get used to their dentures. Even those who have had dentures for years encounter periodic issues as their mouths grow and change. It's part of the process. 
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Ruki Veras

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Aspen dental cost me 5000.00. I was fitted for immediate temporary dentures.. When Id go in for adjustments I complained that my top arch had teeth that were too small. They kept telling me they were temporary and Id get perm ones once gums healed. On the day I went to get perm set of dentures I was told it was only for my bottom arch.. They had me sign a paper that I approved of my temp dentures.. They are now saying that signed release applied to the top arch which they claim was perm from beginning.. Now the 30 day refund has passed and  I was repeatedly lied to when I kept complaining about my top arch. The teeth are differant sizes, too short. Facial buckle almost non existent and you can see impressions of the techs fingers at the back which she had a hard time releasing the mold.. They are crooks..They said I was to pick color,size and gum tone with my elite teeth.. None of the above happened..They also raised my bill 90 days later and tricked me into signing a raise in price cause they claim my insurance didnt cover the whole bill. Which is crap.. I tried to add it to my care credit and was told no you have to pay cash.. Its past 90 days and you cant apply it to your care credit... THEY billed me 90 days later.. So, they agreed to allow payments. After 3 payments I recieved a letter from collections for the last 80.00 . Saying that I didnt pay.. I went in for my perm dentures and was told I needed to pay complete balance or they would not do the final perm denture and which I found out going in they were only giving me my bottom arch.. This will throw off my bite and it has been a nasty experience. The receptionist is rude. The dentist intern held her had up to my husbands face as if to dismss him . That it wasnt about the 5000.00. Well yes it is.. I want what I pay for.. His 300.00 teeth from affordable are better than my 5000.00 ones.. Always READ WHAT YOU SIGN They told me was for that days adjustment and it really was a commitment form to pay the 280.00 they added on long after the bill was paid.. They told me I was signing for immediate temp dentures and here it was for the top perm ones.  .. This is ASPEN DENTAL IN DELAND Fl. Buyer Beware..
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Kelly

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Thank you Jeanne. I hope that maybe my experience can prevent others from making the same assumption....that all dentures/processes are equal.
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Jeanne Roushey

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Dentists are like salesmen, selling their product. Unless we have someone guiding us we have no reason to not believe them. It's really easy to make a mistake. I fell for a con artist dentist who sold me a$30,000. Hollywood mouth, every tooth crowned only to lose every one. Good thing I didn't run into him cause my hate could've caused me to lash out at him and get into trouble.
This group and website has helped me so much. Feeling alone in a situation is very bad and can lead to major depression. At last I can feel encouraged and realize I am not not the only one with this kind of loss.
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AliciaP

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Jeanne, I also paid tens of thousands of dollars only to find myself in a full set of dentures.

I was working with one company, about 10 years ago, towards a full top and partial lower. They pulled 6 molars before closing with no notice to patients or staff. Since I was in between having the root canal and getting the crown, I had to hurry and get a dentist. I opted to go to my hubby's dentist, who was adamant that I was going to get a mouth full of implants. Knowing I couldn't afford it I let him do numerous root canals (shoddy work) that constantly needed to be fixed or crowns to be replaced.

Eventually I stopped the nonsense and worked with what I had. When I hit the point that I didn't have enough left to add up to one whole tooth I decided it was time for dentures!

I'm very pleased with my decision and where I'm working through!

NEVER a toothache to be had again!!!!!!!!!
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Kelly

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I agree. It's scary when you can't trust a professional with your health. We shouldn't have to learn dentistry to watch over them and make sure they do things correctly.
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Deb Cartwright-Cronkright

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Hi Kelly. I hope you get this. I am in the grueling process of investigating the denture process. I see you went with the comfidents and I wondered now that you have had them awhile..... how do you like them ?  I need to know from an actual wearer of the product. Thankyou Much. I like the thought of 2 pair.
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Sara S

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Hi Deb, i am 4 months out as of today for my bottom teeth . i also went to Aspen Dental and they are wonderful !! theyalso  have an in house lab . i have comfident perm uppers now. i will get my bottom perms sometimes in Febuary. i couldn't be more pleased with them
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Deb Cartwright-Cronkright

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TY. It is grueling trying to make the best choice for one self. I am having big issues with the managment at aspen but that in no way will affect my choice if they are infact comfi dentures. Thankyou for your imput.
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Ruki Veras

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Stay away from Aspen Dentures.. Go to Affordable.. Thats all they do is dentures.. 
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Annie Huff Hamilton

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I had to add something.  I have a friend who has an autoimmune disorder that certain parts of her body don't belong and strange things happen.  One was stones in the salivary glad. Yes, like kidney stones just in a different spot.  It was awful.  It was infected with puss coming out of it.  If you don't see improvement or have anything still going on, go back.  She has had to deal with it twice.  I am glad that you got to a dentist that was good.  I went to Aspen Dental here in Vancouver, Washington.  I hope you are doing good. 
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Fyllis

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Kelly,

In your post you stated, "So.....to all those ready to venture down this path.....do not let anyone tell you that they can properly create an immediate denture in one day".

I received my dentures within 5 hrs of having my impression done. I had 11 extractions and my new dentures were immediately placed. I went back for two adjustment during the first two weeks related to the expected pressure areas.  I am approaching my 6th week and I can't be more happy with my dentures that were created in one day!

Prior to choosing my dentist that did my work, I researched and then interviewed 6 different dentists. Two were 'big chains' with multiple staff members, some of whom rotated between various 'stores', three were smaller offices with 3 to 4 associates, and one was a private practitioner in a small office with one associate, one dental assistant, and one man in the lab.

After MANY questions based on my research (I actually lurked on sites like this one for a few weeks, as well as many other dental sites) checking out cost, procedures, timelines, experience, and expectations, I chose the private practitioner. We spoke extensively over the phone, and again during my consultation in his office (which was of no charge for either). He explained everything that needed to be done, how it would be done, the cost, showed me examples of dentures and teeth color,  and he explained how he could make a perfect fit to my satisfaction based on measurements, impressions, and his 53 years of experience. I even spoke to two of his patients who were in the waiting room for adjustments. One was there after 3 weeks with immediates and the other was there to discuss the procedure for his permanents in two weeks. Both were very happy and highly recommended him.

I am not one to choose a business based on how widely they advertise. I choose based on what I learn about their company and reputation in their field. I am a single and independent woman. I can't afford to make poor decisions regarding my money or, more importantly, my health and well being!

So, it's not that 'they' can't  properly create an immediate denture in one day; it's that you happened to choose one who couldn't. So.....to all those ready to venture down this path..... I strongly suggest you do your research and find a dentist you know you can trust before putting yourself in a 'no return' situation such as getting dentures!

I have same day immediates and I am thrilled!

Fyllis

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Jeanne Roushey

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How lucky for you, it's like the lottery, no guarantees on winning. The best dentists and best labs can have a bad day.
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Kelly

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So happy that your journey has left you satisfied Fyllis. Your research and choice of practice got you the individual attention required for a good fitting denture. Many of us chose the chains for dentures and didn't get the individual attention required. I am hoping for the best with my new set on Monday. Unfortunately I agree with Jeanne.....it is like a lottery. There is a lot that goes into the fabrication of a denture. Many rules regarding angles, dimension, bite etc.....all have to be followed. Foolishly I trusted that someone with 40 yrs experience would follow the rules.I never thought that I would have to learn the mechanics of denture fabrication ....I trusted the professionals . All it takes is a sloppy impression or a poorly placed tooth to wreck havoc with your mouth. I am certain that even the best of the best have "bad days" or can be distracted and have an "off" day resulting in a poorly made denture. I found good and bad reviews for all of the dentists in my area and the prices were all over the charts. Ultimately I agree that an immediate denture can be made in one day if the practice that you go to allows for the time to take proper measurements and doesn't rush to just produce a denture. My idea of a custom denture was one made for my mouth, not one made that would be chopped, diced, and rigged to fit. So, as Fyllis said.....do your homework, research, ask questions. Realize that a quick bite down on a wad of goo as you are processed down the assembly line will not result in a custom denture.
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Jeanne Roushey

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Good luck monday Kelly
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Jeanne Roushey

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Good luck monday Kelly
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Patti

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Very interesting...I am sorry you had such a terrible time Kelly. Sounds as if you are on the right road now. Good luck on Monday.
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Patti

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I am curious though ....who was the denist you went to first? Might help others if we knew.
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Kelly

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Hi Patti,
I don't think naming the first practice I went to would be a good idea. Im sure others have gone to the same chain and had a good outcome. Each office is independently owned so I'd hate to be negative about all of them. Unfortunately the locality I went to was run like an assembly line and procedures were all very rushed. I was actually assigned a number to watch on a screen to know when I could leave after the impressions were taken. Each time I went I was handled by a different person and usually there was no introduction. Names were hard to come by. I am going to Aspen now and I love them. The atmosphere there is totally different. I got my new immediates yesterday . They fit! I can speak much more clearly, my lower teeth are positioned lower in my mouth now and my jaw isn't clicking anymore. I was able to go out to dinner last night and actually eat chewy and hard foods and both plates stayed put during the meal! I know that they will need to do a few small adjustments but overall the difference is night and day. These dentures were as they were supposed to be....custom made for me. The others were a sloppy impression with teeth stuck to them that were going to be customized along the way.
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Rosie

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That's wonderful! Thanks for sharing the details of your positive experience. :)
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Jeanne Roushey

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Wonderful improvement.